Here in Wales, we’re reaching the end of the Easter Holidays. When I first began working as a copywriter, getting anything done during the Easter period verged on being impossible. A combination of parental guilt and my child’s age meant I had to seriously slash my wordcount to accommodate all the entertaining, day trips, and sleepovers.
Today, everything is different. Most of this is due to circumstance. Now that my daughter is older, she tends to prefer hiding in her room and holding conference calls via Facetime with her friends. Discussing the latest Zoella video is of the utmost importance. Farm parks, sadly, are not.
My proficiency as a freelance copywriter has also improved. I tend to slot my working hours into the early morning and then again during the early evening. This allows me to work at 75% capacity, even with a (not-so) small person depending on my attention.
Despite a reduction in attention requirements and an increase in skill, the Easter holidays as a copywriter still comes with its challenges. It doesn’t help that I chose last week as a good time to start a new Kayla Itsines fitness plan.
If you’re a freelancing parent who tries to combat the increasingly long school breaks while still working at a decent capacity, I have some tips:
Make a list of activities and places ahead of the holidays
When your child is independent enough to voice their own opinions, it comes as a bit of a shock when they’re suddenly asking for yours. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve invited my pre-teen to suggest what she does, only for her to respond with “I dunno, what can I do?”
If you’re armed with suggestions, you at least stand a good chance of them agreeing to go somewhere and be happy about it. Of course, there’s always a risk they’ll decide that what you say is utterly naff and, therefore, not worth doing. Your option is to then either a) Force them to see daylight and do something anyway or b) Let them continue as they are and continue freelancing.
Accept that it is okay for your child to be bored
On that note, it is absolutely okay for your child to be bored. Even better than that, it’s integral to their development. I am in no way exaggerating when I say I’ve allowed my child to become so bored She tidied her room voluntarily.
One expert even believes that allowing your children to become bored give them a chance to develop their imagination. In contrast, exposing them to a constant flurry of activities could prevent imaginative development.
Providing your child isn’t issuing persistent whines of “I’m booooored” into your ears, this is yet another chance for you to get on with some work. Hurrah!
Transform your tablet into a laptop and get outdoors
Although allowing your child to be bored is permissible some of the time, you can’t let them carry on that way for the duration of the school holidays. If you’re the proud owner of any tablet, now’s the time to invest in a decent keyboard tablet case and head for the great outdoors.
Our glorious bank holiday weekend may feel like a distant memory, but it did happen! It was my chance to whisk my child down to the beach and pursue my ventures as a freelance copywriter from the sand. Of course, hearing the woman a few metres away from me shout “Kayden you can’t bite people” was a little distracting, but I did produce some good work.
Tweak your working hours
I don’t need to do much hour tweaking when the school holidays arrive. I prefer to split my working day into two parts anyway. I get up early(ish), start work before 7am, climb out of my pyjamas around 9am, and then do other stuff until I’m ready for my afternoon workathon.
I’ve found that this approach is mostly conducive to freelancing during the school holidays. I do need to push my afternoon workathon into the early evening, but it still allows me to remain productive without neglecting my child. A win-win all round!
Don’t feel guilty for having indoor days
Not feeling guilty for having indoor days echoes my thoughts about allowing children to be bored. There’s a great deal of pressure on parents to constantly find something to do with their children, outside of the house. This doesn’t allow for constraints in the form of British weather and finances, though.
Having the occasional indoor day will not kill anybody. In contrast, not making enough money is slightly (very) cumbersome. If your school holidays involve spending an entire day diving between dishing out indoor activities and doing your work, you’re still doing well on both fronts.
Have you survived the school holidays as a freelancer so far? And, how do you plan to handle the six-week break when it rolls around?